Possible Suspect in Oregon Missing-Girl Case Arrested

A possible suspect in the disappearance of two teenage Oregon girls has been arrested in the alleged rape of his son's girlfriend.

Ward Weaver, 39, was arrested by Portland police on charges of sexual assault, near the apartment complex from which Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis disappeared earlier this year.

Police have identified him as a possible suspect in the disappearances, but Weaver has described himself as their top suspect, while proclaiming his innocence.

Ashley Pond was last seen in January; Miranda Gaddis disappeared in March. Both were 13.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Francis Weaver's girlfriend flagged down a motorist who took her to a store. She called police and told them that Ward Weaver had choked and raped her in his home, a house near the apartment complex where Ashley and Miranda lived.

Weaver appeared in Clackamas County Circuit Court on Wednesday on charges of rape and sexual abuse in Tuesday's attack. He is being held on $1 million bail.

After the alleged rape, Francis Weaver, 19, told police dispatchers that his father confessed to killing the 13-year-olds and was moving to Mexico, according to the dispatch summaries obtained by The Oregonian.

On Wednesday, he declined to comment to The Oregonian about the 911 call or his claims of his father's role in the girls' disappearances.

He said his father's alleged attack of his girlfriend shocked the family and that his girlfriend trusted Weaver.

"She thought he was like a father," he said.

Oregon City Police Chief Gordon Huiras said investigators have found no new evidence regarding the disappearances as a result of Weaver's Tuesday night arrest.

Ashley was friends with Weaver's daughter and often stayed overnight. Weaver told reporters that Ashley once accused him of sexually abusing her.

Weaver said the allegations were made as Ashley's father, Wesley Roettger, was set to go on trial for multiple counts of sexual abuse against Ashley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.